mackbook ethernet port broken?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by powermac_daddy, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. powermac_daddy macrumors 6502


    Feb 22, 2005
    Philadelphia & Northern California
    maybe someone here can help me:

    i think my little macbook's ethernet port is screwed. I have done the following tests:

    plug in the same cable to my macbook pro. (working)
    plug in a different cable to the macbook. (not working)
    check the port see if anything is broken. (pins are fine)
    wireless on the macbook (working)
    Restart the computer, repeat the tests (still not working)

    what is happening here? all of the sudden... well after i unplug the cable, plug it back in. Any suggestions here? Appreciate your time.

    Attached Files:

  2. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Might be time to have it sent in for repair.
  3. powermac_daddy thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 22, 2005
    Philadelphia & Northern California
    yeah. that might be the only option. but does anyone know what is going on though? something screwed internal? any ideas?
  4. benny2k7 macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2007
    Yeah, my "it's complicated" has the same problem with her mb. She didn't have wireless for some time in her new apartment, so she was plugged in for months, and she had a tendency to sit on her couch, lean the comp sideways, etc., not really thinking about the ethernet cord. Chances are, she messed it up inside. Knowing this, I've become very conscious of my cord when I plug it in. I only do it when I'm going to sit up or sit at a desk. If you have applecare still, that should do it. Otherwise, think about replacing it yourself, because that **** is not cheap.
  5. powermac_daddy thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 22, 2005
    Philadelphia & Northern California
    no ****, that **** is not cheat. i will try to replace that **** myself. well... at least i have wireless.
  6. viqas macrumors member

    May 24, 2006
    Derka derka stan
    I had a problem with my airport card, so i was forced to use the ethernet. I guess some how the cable got bumped at an angle and bent the pins in the ethernet port. sent the laptop in to get the airport card repaired and they said that there was teir 4 damage on the ethernet port and wanted 785 to replace the whole logic board.

    I asked them to just replace the airport card, and they said they will not as the airport card connects to the logic board.

    I called a specialist and he over rode it, but they ignored the order 2, ended up sending my computer in 5 times just to fix an airport card.

    They ended up fixing the airport card... months later my logic board failed , required 2 replacements
  7. powermac_daddy thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 22, 2005
    Philadelphia & Northern California
    so you think i have to replace the logic board? just because the ethernet plug? I know my plug is fuoked. Wireless only for now. Sucks!!!
  8. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    The Ethernet port is soldered to the logic board. If you had the tools and the talent you could de-solder it and solder a new one on, but standard procedure is to just replace the logic board because it is quicker and easier.

    I expect that the failed board is then sent to a specialist facility to have the RJ-45 jack replaced and the board is then sent back to Apple for future replacements.
  9. MacHappytjg macrumors 65816

    Mar 24, 2008
    mines screwed up like that it only accepts certian cords
  10. merl1n macrumors 65816


    Mar 30, 2008
    New Jersey, USA
    Did you try resetting the PRAM? Also, try booting in safe mode to clear out the hardware cache, then reboot and test again.
  11. BanjoBanker macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2006
    Mt Brook, AL
    I had the same problem on a iBook 14". Rather than sprnd a bunch of cash for what was only a temporary and occasional problem, I bought a USB ethernet adapter. Cost me twenty bucks and worked like a charm. I keep it in a drawer at the house in case I have the same problem on my BalckBook.:D
  12. iFizz macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    Third planet from the star called "Sun"
    Exactly what I was going to suggest. Temp fix until you can get a new logic board. If, in fact, that is where the problem lies.
  13. MacHappytjg macrumors 65816

    Mar 24, 2008
    just a little question would u know why mine it only lik read certian cords lik it reads a 19$ blue cord and then doesnt read a geek squad cord
  14. Stang macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2007
    Northern Suburbs, Chicago, IL
    I have a similar problem. I think it has to do with the pins inside the port being broken or bent. when i put in my cable and force the cord's pins to touch the pins inside the cable, then it connects, but when i let it sit idle, sometimes it disconnects. what i do is try to wedge something underneath the cable while it's in your macbook.
  15. NicJohnson macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2009
    My ethernet port started failing quite recently, the cable would randomly connect and disconnect while working. A close inspection of the port showed that one of the pins had been bent flat. A small scratch inside the port suggested it had taken a knock while the cable was plugged in.

    I used tweezers to very gently lift the pin and bend it back into shape. It now works perfectly again. I'd suggest checking this first before taking the mac to the shop. :apple:
  16. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
  17. eerdepeer macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2009
    As this forum is viewed by more than a couple of people and I had the same issue with my Macbook pro yesterday, I thought I just share my solution with you. Note: the solution is general and not only for a Macbook (pro/air). So you can also use this guide for your Mac pro, iMac, G1, G2, G3, G4, G5 or Intel based Mac! :) It could be that the settings are at different tabs when you are using another version of OS X than 10.5.4, just search for the right settings to set up as discribed below)

    I always thought that if the LED on your router/switch is burning, the cable is good and your network card is okay. When it is not burning, that means your cable is not well connected, broken or your network card is broken. So that is why it scared the hell out of me when the LED wasn't burning when I plugged in my Macbook. (after being connected by cable the entire day) This just means your router/switch or your computer has turned the connection down by software. (Even in your preference panel > network setting > ethernet has a nice red light icon with "not connected" next to it. My eyes turned wet and red, but I knew there must me a solution for this, other than a broken network card on my Macbook pro.

    The solution:

    In short: your router/switch/modem has an identity problem. The DHCP server is screwed up and that's why you don't get a connection. (that is the reasen that Airport was working, but the ethernet wasn't)

    If you don't know that DHCP means. No worries, read the following:

    1) Doublecheck you have the cable connected in the right way
    2) Turn off all devices that are connected with your network. And I mean all! (Internet modem, router, switches, airports, wireless bridges, computers, PS3, XBOX, etc. etc.
    3) Leave them off for a minute
    4) Turn them all on.
    5) The problem could be fixed now, but no worries if it still isn't.

    6) Go to your System Preferences > Network > Ethernet
    7) Set Configure to Manually
    -- Now you get a quick lesson in setting up fixed IP --

    Image link:


    8) The IP address you have to set could be very different than my settings, to find out what the right settins are, go to the Airport settings and check the tab "TCP/IP" and "DNS". (see the screenshots I've uploaded)

    -- At the Airport settings --

    Image link:


    9) The IP set at IPv4 Address (where mine is means that your Airport has set to this IP. So no other device in the network can use this IP at the moment. Because the Airport settings are on DHCP, it means that you cannot use a range of IP's. This range is mostly from XXX.XXX.XXX.100 to XXX.XXX.XXX.200 or 300.

    This means the IP you have to use for your Ethernet must not be in this range. Else you won't get connected because your router and your computer try to be in the same place at the same time.

    10) Write down the Subnet Mask number. In most cases it is: If this number is different, just write it down, you have to put in the SAME number at the Subnet Mask for your Ethernet.

    11) Router: means the IP of my router is set at this number. You also have to copy this address to set this exact IP for your Ethernet.

    --- Airport DNS settings ---

    Image link:


    12) Go on to the tab DNS in your Airport settings.
    13) DNS servers are different for each Internet provider in the whole world. Just write down these two DNS numbers and the Search Domains if available. (DNS must be available anyhow)
    14) close these tabs and go to your Ethernet settings

    -- Ethernet settings --

    15) Okay, now you have to fill in an IP Address that is NOT in the range of your Airport. BUT!!! The first nine numbers must be the same. So in my case the IP must be somewhere in the range of and Remember my router is at so that one is taken and the Airport has taken to

    I took But if your router IP is (for example) you have to use the 192.168.1.XXX range. And for XXX you have to type in a number. (nobody said this would be easy ;-))

    Subnet Mask: just copy the IP from YOUR Aiport settings. Mine is:

    Router: also copy the IP from YOUR Airport settings. Mine is:

    DNS server: also copy YOUR settings (mine is (the other IP address is a secundairy address in case one server isn't working. You could also use the other address without problems.

    Search Domains: also copy YOUR settings (my settings are "", or, that depends on your settings at the DNS tab at the Aiport settings)

    802.1X: Eduroam: forget this setting, that is something else, not of use for solving the ethernet problems.

    16) Click apply and your Ethernet should be working again!

    -- A short FAQ --

    Q: My ethernet is still not working, what did I do wrong?
    A: Pull out all the ethernet cables of your other devices at your modem/router. So your setup is only: internet modem > router > computer OR internet modem > computer OR AT MOST internet modem > router > switch > computer.

    Q: OSX says the IP is already taken. What should I do?
    A: Take another IP address for your ethernet. Be sure your IP address starts with the same nine digits as your router is! For example: Your router address is you have to take an IP in the range from to If for example didn't work out, try or

    Q: Why didn't the guys from Apple or my Internet provider didn't tell me this.
    A: Most people at a service desk don't know this kind of stuff.

    Q: My ethernet is still not working?
    A: Please make screenshots and/or ask on this forum.
    A2: Try to connect your computer via ethernet on an entirely different network. At your friends house for example. Try the automatic settings unless your friend has the exact same internet provider!

    Q: I still want my settings to be set at automatically, is this possible?
    A: Just wait for a day or so and in most cases your crazy router has turned to normal again and you should be able to use the automatic settings again.
    A2: If the problem remains you should reset your router to factory settings. If the problem still exists reset your modem to factory default. If the problem stillll exists just buy a new router.

    Hope you can solve the problem. In most cases your computer is working well and the ethernet card is NOT broken!!

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